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Johnson’s neck OK

Cincinnati's Chad Johnson took a big hit from Donte Whitner, left, and Coy Wire of Buffalo but could play Sunday.Associated Press
 (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
Cincinnati's Chad Johnson took a big hit from Donte Whitner, left, and Coy Wire of Buffalo but could play Sunday.Associated Press (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)

Chad Johnson winced when he got up from his locker Monday and walked stiffly into the trainer’s room, showing the effects of a strained neck suffered during the Cincinnati Bengals’ latest loss.

Coach Marvin Lewis said the Pro Bowl receiver could play Sunday in Baltimore, assuming the neck continues to heal.

Johnson was hit by Buffalo’s Donte Whitner while he tried to make a diving catch during the closing minutes of a 33-21 loss that left the Bengals stranded at 2-6. Johnson lay on his chest for several minutes, and was carted off the field as a precaution.

A test at a Buffalo hospital found no serious injury, and Johnson flew back to Cincinnati with the team. He was in the locker room Monday, but declined to talk to reporters, shaking his head before getting up with that wince and slowly walking away.

NFL wants to end noise debate

The Indianapolis Colts contend the debate about the decibel level in the RCA Dome is merely noise, and now they have the NFL taking their side.

A day after some unusual sounds were heard during the Colts-Patriots broadcast, the NFL issued a statement saying what sounded like simulated crowd noise was actually created by a CBS production crew, not the Colts.

“CBS has informed us that the unusual audio moment heard by fans during the Patriots-Colts game was the result of tape feedback in the CBS production truck and was isolated to the CBS broadcast,” the league said.

“It was in no way related to any sound within the stadium and could not be heard in the stadium.”

Around the league

The league pushed back the start of New England’s game at the Buffalo Bills on Nov. 18 to 5:15 p.m., bumping the Bears-Seahawks game originally scheduled for primetime. Chicago and Seattle will instead play at 1:15 p.m. on Fox. … DT Tank Johnson was activated by the Dallas Cowboys and WR Chris Henry was activated by the Cincinnati Bengals after each completed eight-game suspensions for violating the league’s personal conduct policy. Both are expected to play Sunday. … QB Cleo Lemon will remain the starter for at least another week for winless Miami, holding off rookie John Beck for another game.

•Larry Johnson spent the day undergoing treatment and tests on his injured right foot amid fears Kansas City’s Pro Bowl RB could be sidelined for an extended period. … Broncos QB Jay Cutler doesn’t have the hairline fracture in his left leg he feared. An MRI was negative, but it was unknown if Cutler would practice much this week or be under center Sunday at Kansas City. … Packers S Nick Collins will miss several games with a knee injury after making an awkward tackle. … St. Louis Rams DE Leonard Little will have surgery this week to repair a torn ligament in his left big toe, ending his season. … Jets WR Laveranues Coles was cleared to practice today after missing Sunday’s game with a concussion. … Washington Redskins S LaRon Landry and Philadelphia Eagles DT LaJuan Ramsey were fined one game check each for unnecessary roughness for hits with the helmet in separate games.


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